SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN OBSERVER MISSION IN ANGOLA UNTIL 15 OCTOBER
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN OBSERVER MISSION IN ANGOLA UNTIL 15 OCTOBER
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN OBSERVER MISSION IN ANGOLA UNTIL 15 OCTOBER19980915
The Security Council this afternoon strongly urged rejection of military actions to resolve the crisis in Angola, as it decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) for a month, until 15 October.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1195 (1998), the Council said it would assess the overall situation and take action on the future role of the United Nations in Angola on the basis of a report and recommendations to be submitted by the Secretary-General no later than 8 October. The Council strongly urged the Government of Angola, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and States in the region, in addition to rejecting military action, to pursue dialogue and to refrain from steps which could exacerbate the current situation.
The Council demanded UNITA's immediate withdrawal from territories it had occupied through military action, and demanded that it transform itself into a genuine political party through the dismantling of its military structure. In the context of the full implementation of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol, the Council strongly urged the Angolan authorities to reconsider their decision to suspend the participation of UNITA members in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and in the National Assembly. Further, it reiterated its full support for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
The Council emphasized that the primary cause of the crisis in Angola and of the current impasse in the peace process was the failure by the UNITA leadership to comply with its obligations under the Peace Accords, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions. It demanded UNITA's immediate and unconditional compliance with its obligations, in particular the complete demilitarization of its forces, and full cooperation in the extension of State administration throughout Angola's national territory.
It reiterated its support to the Secretary-General for his personal engagement in the peace process, and urged the Government of Angola and UNITA
to cooperate fully with his Special Representative and with other relevant initiatives by Member States to seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
The Council endorsed the Secretary-General's decision to instruct MONUA to adjust its deployment on the ground, as needed, to ensure the safety and security of its personnel. It demanded that the Government of Angola, and in particular UNITA, guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of the Special Representative and all United Nations and international humanitarian personnel, including those providing humanitarian assistance.
The meeting, which was called to order at 1:25 p.m., adjourned at 1:29 p.m.
The text of the resolution, which in its draft form was sponsored by Kenya, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovenia and the United States, reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 696 (1991) of 30 May 1991 and all subsequent relevant resolutions,
"Reaffirming also its firm commitment to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Angola,
"Taking note of the letter of the President of the Republic of Angola to the Secretary-General of 10 September 1998 (S/1998/847),
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 7 September 1998 (S/1998/838),
"1. Emphasizes that the primary cause of the crisis in Angola and of the current impasse in the peace process is the failure by the leadership of the Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) to comply with its obligations under the "Acordos de Paz", (S/22609, annex), the Lusaka Protocol (S/1994/1441, annex) and relevant Security Council resolutions, and demands that UNITA comply immediately and without conditions with its obligations, in particular the complete demilitarization of its forces and full cooperation in the immediate and unconditional extension of State administration throughout the national territory;
"2. Demands that UNITA withdraw immediately from territories which it has occupied through military action;
"3. Reiterates its full support for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol;
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6572 3925th Meeting (PM) 15 September 1998
"4. Demands that UNITA transform itself into a genuine political party through the dismantling of its military structure and, in the context of the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, strongly urges the Angolan authorities to reconsider their decision to suspend the participation of members of UNITA in the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and in the National Assembly;
"5. Calls on Member States to implement fully the relevant provisions of resolutions 864 (1993) of 15 September 1993, 1127 (1997) of 28 August 1997 and 1173 (1998) of 12 June 1998;
"6. Strongly urges the Government of Angola, UNITA and States in the region to reject military actions, to pursue dialogue to resolve the crisis and to refrain from any steps which could exacerbate the current situation;
"7. Reiterates its support to the Secretary-General for his personal engagement in the peace process, and urges the Government of Angola and UNITA to cooperate fully with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and with other relevant initiatives by Member States to seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis;
"8. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) until 15 October 1998 and to assess the overall situation and take action on the future role of the United Nations in Angola on the basis of a report and recommendations to be submitted by the Secretary- General no later that 8 October 1998;
"9. Endorses the decision of the Secretary-General to instruct MONUA to adjust its deployment on the ground, as needed, to ensure the safety and security of MONUA personnel, and demands that the Government of Angola and in particular UNITA guarantee unconditionally the safety and freedom of movement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and all United Nations and international humanitarian personnel, including those providing humanitarian assistance;
"9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
Council Work Programme
When the Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Angola, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General, in which he proposes that the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) be extended until 31 January 1999, on the understanding that the Council would conduct a comprehensive review of the situation by the end of November (document S/1998/838).
Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6572 3925th Meeting (PM) 15 September 1998
If, at the time of the November review, it appears that there has been no substantial progress towards full compliance by the parties with their respective obligations under the Lusaka Protocol, the Secretary-General says, MONUA would identify those responsible for the deadlock. It would then be incumbent on the Council to take the necessary action. In such a case, the reduction of MONUA would be accelerated in order to close it down by early February 1999. If, however, decisive progress was made by the parties by the end of November, MONUA would be allowed to carry out its mandate. In addition, if it appeared that additional resources would be required to enable MONUA to perform its residual tasks effectively, the Secretary-General would submit to the Council recommendations on the reconfiguration of the Mission, as appropriate.
Meanwhile, in view of the continued deterioration of the situation in Angola, the Secretary-General advises that he has instructed MONUA to further adjust its deployment on the ground. He urges all the parties to guarantee the security of MONUA and other international personnel operation in Angola.
The report, which was submitted pursuant to Council resolution 1190 (1998), states that the current stalemate in the peace process is mainly the result of persisting delays by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in fulfilling its major obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. Despite efforts by the United Nations, the three observer States (Portugal, Russian Federation and the United States) and other governments concerned, tensions in the country have increased sharply, and both the Government and UNITA seem to be preparing themselves for a confrontation.
[The Lusaka Protocol, signed on 20 November 1994, covers the re- establishment of the ceasefire in Angola; the demobilization of military forces of UNITA; the disarming of civilians; and the formation of the Angolan Armed Forces. The major political issues include the police, the United Nations mandate and the role of observers, the completion of the electoral process and national reconciliation.]
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has further complicated the situation, as evidenced by the involvement of Angolan military units in that country, the Secretary-General continues. In addition, the recent decision to suspend UNITA members of the Government and the National Assembly has raised doubts about the prospects for national reconciliation.
"The United Nations is facing a crucial dilemma", the Secretary-General declares. Although significant progress has been achieved during the past three-and-a-half years, a continuation of the current pervasive insecurity would force the United Nations to reduce further its presence in Angola. Moreover, MONUA would not be able to remain in Angola in the case of a major military confrontation or if the parties, in particular UNITA, were to continue to fail to complete their pending tasks under the Lusaka Protocol,
Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6572 3925th Meeting (PM) 15 September 1998
including the full demilitarization of UNITA forces, the extension of State administration throughout the country, the disarming of the civilian population, and the pursuit of a genuine democratization process.
A number of urgent steps need to be taken to restore the peace process and expedite its conclusion, he says. Those include immediate cessation of military operations, the reduction of hostile propaganda and the resumption of cooperation between the Government and UNITA. The parties must also commit themselves to curbing violence. Simultaneously, UNITA must agree to complete the extension of State administration, to dismantle its "residual" forces without further delay and to become an effective political party.
The Secretary-General stresses that the international community cannot accept UNITA's continuing claim to maintain its own armed elements and to control parts of the country. He appeals to the Government and UNITA to refrain from any action that is likely to further complicate the already difficult situation in the country. He reminds the Government of its responsibility of ensuring the security of all UNITA members in Luanda and other locations under the Government's control. At the same time, the Secretary-General states that the international community should give the Angolan parties an additional chance to return to the peace process. Additional time is also needed to allow his Special Representative to undertake urgent consultations with all concerned.
In reviewing the political aspects of the situation, the report notes that the declaration made on 24 August by the UNITA leadership concerning the severance of "all cooperation with the troika countries" for allegedly being partial in the peace process also contributed to the growing tensions. It adds that a number of UNITA senior members had decided to form a group with the objective of "democratizing" UNITA. The new group, called the Renovation Committee of UNITA, has created a "temporary leadership" of the party and will continue with the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The newly established Committee is also requesting the convening, with its participation, of an urgent meeting of the Joint Commission. The Government, which has insisted that MONUA should cease its contacts with the UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, expressed support for the group and called on the international community to recognize it. The Government warns of the possible intensification of military operations throughout Angola.
The proposed budget for the maintenance of MONUA for the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 is estimated by the Secretary-General at $140.8 million gross, equivalent to a monthly rate of $11.7 million gross. Pending the submission of further recommendations on the United Nations presence in Angola after 30 June 1998, the General Assembly appropriated an initial amount of $43.6 million gross, equivalent to a monthly rate of $10.9 million gross, for the period from 1 July to 31 October 1998. Should the Council decide to extend the mandate of MONUA, the balance of the requirements for the
Security Council - 6 - Press Release SC/6572 3925th Meeting (PM) 15 September 1998
maintenance of the Mission will be sought from the General Assembly at the regular part of its fifty-third session.
As at 31 August 1998, unpaid assessed contributions to the Special Account for the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and MONUA for the period from the inception of UNAVEM to 15 August 1998 amounted to $130.2 million.
Also before the Council was a letter from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the Secretary-General and to the President of the Security Council (document S/1998/847) conveying a letter from the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, in which he says that his Government has decided to break its dialogue with the leader of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi.
Mr. dos Santos states that Mr. Savimbi's "behaviour and practices have completely disqualified him as an interlocutor in the Angola peace process and have placed him outside of the law". Continuing, he says that the countries of southern Africa have reached the same conclusions and believe that Mr. Savimbi and his military forces are a serious and continuous threat to peace in the subregion, as well as in Central Africa. "Therefore, it is necessary to unite means, actions and forces in the region so as to combat and neutralize the war machine of the Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA)", he says.
According to Mr. dos Santos, the positions of the Angolan Government on the question of peace in Angola coincide with those of a large group of UNITA political and military leaders whose patriotism has led them to break away from their leader, whom they have removed from the leadership of the party. The UNITA Renovation Committee has provisionally assumed that mandate until the party holds its congress, to be scheduled this year.
He goes on to say that the Renovation Committee has decided to assume the position of interlocutor with the Government, the Troika of Observers and the Secretary-General's Special Representative. The Angolan Government recognizes the Committee as the only legitimate interlocutor for the conclusion of the Lusaka Protocol and calls on the Secretary-General and the Council to support the position of the Committee.
* *** *